A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Lord, Have Mercy: The Rise and Fall of the World's Greatest Entertainer Posted by Hello
Good morning to all aboard the website and welcome. Now, before beginning today's topic of discussion, a disclaimer: I don't usually make a practice of commenting (either verbally or in written form) on the entertainment world (nor the sports world, for that matter). Mainly, because they really aren't all that important and simply pale in comparison with the more serious subjects and issues of the day. This site is dedicated to the discussion and analysis of U.S. domestic/foreign policies, military affairs and how these policies and subject-matter impact the nation and the world as a whole; nor do I want folks to get the impression that this blog is morphing into somekind of a "California-themed" site just because the last two posts were about the Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa and the world of L.A. mayoral politics. I can assure you, it is not morphing. Quite frankly, after watching the legal shenanigans (part and parcel, probably the most unprecedented antics in the press coverage history of American jurisprudence) that took place in southern California yesterday in terms of the Michael Jackson case (CNN link, http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/10/jackson.trial/index.html) I felt a need to comment because Jackson's outrageous display was an epiphany for me because it made clear (to me, at least) the fact that this case (California v. Michael Jackson, Bartucci v. Jackson) has tremendous social, moral and ethical implication undertones that reverberate through the trial like so much electricity in a powerline. Important undertones that go far beyond the alleged crime and certainly far beyond the trials immature entertainment value. Moreso, I wanted to comment in terms of how "one, Michael Jackson" (as an individual) in conjunction with his outrageous behavior (excusable or inexcusable) and the current case against him tells us more about US as a nation than it does about Michael Jackson as an individual. I'm not going to go into all the details, i.e., the history of the case against Michael Jackson and how it came to fruition (not that I'm lazy, but because I think the evolution of the case to date is not prudent, at least, not in terms of my overall point). But here is a link from the excellent legal website FindLaw, http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/lit/mj/, that will give you the chronology of events that led up to the debacle that was March 10, 2005. You know, the performance by the accused (by performance I mean Jackson, with his ubiquitous entourage, sauntering into court late with p.j.'s on, after the judge threatened to issue an arrest warrant) is funny, but it's also NOT funny...but either way it is certainly tragic. My point is this: what we are watching, as it is broadcast (and re-broadcast) throughout the country, all around the world and into the cosmos, is the emotional breakdown of another human being, in this case one Michael Jackson. Now whether or not he did what he is accused of doing, although extremely important, is not really relevant to the overarching point that I hope to make. In my humble opinion, Michael Jackson is clearly saddled with more psychic scarring and emotional baggage than any of us would want to deal with (or, quite possibly, COULD deal with); and yet...we laugh. His wealth, fortunately or unfortunately (I lean toward unfortunately) has barricaded him in a Potemkin Village-like "world of fantasy", or (as he named his own home) in a kind of "neverland" that has shielded him from the realities of his own mental deterioration and, indeed, may have actually played a role in facilitating and/or hastening that deterioration. With his useless cadre of paid yes-men and yes-women around him, yes-men and yes-women that have provided a real disservice more than a service to him (again, in my opinion), Jackson was allowed to spiral into an abyss of reality distortion and, ultimately (as I think we are beholding on our tv screens), a downright breakdown and separation from what most people would consider reality. In short, I think Jackson coming to court in blue pajama bottoms and slippers is a red flag warning as big as life that something is clearly and seriously wrong with him, in the psychological department...but maybe I'm off the mark. And, if that is the case, than do we (as an American people) believe philosophically that it is better and more humane to send our psychologically ill citizens to prison, or do we think it is more advantageous (to all parties involved, including our collective soul as a nation) to send them to a medical center where they can get the care they need? You see, this is the real question, this is the philosphical struggle that is on trial.The bottom line is that Jackson, who is (without question) an extremely talented artist that has brought pleasure and joy through his music and artistry to millions around the world during a career that spans almost four decades, is now being cruelly paraded before the American public and lambasted by the American press. In comparison, Clarence Thomas (no hero of mine, but his comments find new creedence in light of the present situation) once referred to a "high-tech lynching" when he was the "fodder" of the month (http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/ClarenceThomas.htm). Now, the same terminology can be sadly applied to Michael Jackson. You must understand that what we are witnessing is a tragedy of Greek proportions, an epic that requires an author like Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides to adequately weave the tale with all of its sad hues, nuances and "shades of gray" and bring forth an understanding of what is going on. However, I think it would go something like this: a talented and sensitive youth, blessed by the heavens with the vocal and musical gifts that so many would die and, perhaps, even kill for; cruelly scorned and berated by his father, emotionally and physically abused by his parents (especially his overbearing and threatening father); paraded before the community, with a "forced smile", for coins, money and trinkets as a minstrel-artist...like a crank-organ monkey; all the while, being pimped and prostituted by those that are supposed to be his ultimate guardians and caretakers. The tale would continue: a pariah amongst his peers, alienated from "the group" (the group meaning his contemporaries, or, his generation of young people) vis a vis the "prison" that is celebrity and fame, the youth finds himself delving into a fantasy world that is blown all the hell out of proportion when compared to reality. All the while, even with his accumulated wealth, the hollow pain and ache of loneliness and isolation sets in and takes hold; his childhood and mind arrested in a kind of "Peter Pan" like state that, mimicking a child, causes him to see nothing wrong with sharing his bed with his children friends and (more telling) continues to allow him to see nothing wrong with sharing his bed with his children friends even though he is now 46 years of age (he'll be 47 on August 29 of this year). In my humble opinion, this man is not a criminal. He is, instead, an emotionally tortured (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,149992,00.html) and, I dare say, mentally ill person that needs medical help as soon as possible more than incarceration in the California penal system (a penal system that he probably would not survive). His illness has certainly (quite possibly) caused him to become a serious social threat, in terms of his interaction with children, as the allegations about his behavior allude. This is not his fault mind you, no more than it is the fault of the individual with tuberculosis that they are sick and, in coughing, are spreading the disease and harming others. Michael Jackson, like the tuberculosis sufferer, needs immediate medical care to arrest the disease, be cured of the disease and live a normal life as a constructive member of society. My final point is this: you must also understand, the Michael Jackson case is like a mirror before the American public, showing for all to see how we, as a people, treat those that we once admired and loved. Michael Jackson is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest talents this country has EVER produced (http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/jackson_michael/bio.jhtml) and yet, (like the veteran that serves the community and is dismissed after his/her services are rendered and are no longer needed) when the cumulative effects of the psychological damage done over the years takes hold, we lampoon him and castigate him for all the world to see in the public square of television. The world sees this and repulses in horror, wondering how Americans (generally speaking) can talk about "compassionate conservatism" and yet demonstrate a callousness and ugliness unabated and without mercy toward an individual that is obviously writhing in a psychic hell? You see, in our convulsions of laughter at, and finger-pointing condemnation of Michael Jackson, we THINK we are making fun of someone else, when in fact we are REALLY condemining ourselves for our lack of compassion in trying to understand the machinations that brought someone once so high, to such low levels of desperation and despair. Like the great English poet and preacher John Donne (http://www.incompetech.com/authors/donne/bell.html) put it so many years ago, "...for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee". Semper Fidelis


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